Severe conditions include dementia, psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, dissociative disorders and personality disorders. They can be particularly extreme and frightening for people experiencing them as well as family and friends observing the symptoms of these disorders.
Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older. As more and more people live longer, the number affected by Alzheimer's disease will continue to grow.
Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.
People with these disorders suffer severe disturbances or changes in memory, consciousness, identity, and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings. These disorders usually are associated with overwhelming stress, which may be the result of traumatic events, accidents, or disasters.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.
People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and can cause problems in work, school, or social relationships. In addition, the person's patterns of thinking and behaviour significantly differ from the expectations of society and are so rigid that they interfere with the person's normal functioning.
Whether or not schizophrenia is a single disorder, or a group of related illnesses, has yet to be fully determined. It is a highly complex condition and normally begins between the ages of 15 and 25. Symptoms include delusions, thought disorders, and hallucinations. withdrawal, lack of motivation, and a flat or inappropriate mood.